I have now had sufficient time and km (approx 2,400km) on the Velocite Magnus to provide a better view as to its various characteristics. My views are based upon 20 odd years of racing experience at various levels. Most recently I have ridden several Pinarello Princes, a Time VXRS and a Mathiske Strada, so each of these frames influences my impression. My views are set out against the various aspects I consider important in a frame and naturally the weighting or importance given varies depending upon what you are looking for at any given point in time.
I ride the Large sized Magnus and am 190 and 89kg at present, my size obviously influences the views I have on the following and as I drop to race weight certain characteristics may be more pronounced.
Bikes tend to show different characteristics depending on how they are ridden. So with that in mind this is how I view the Magnus.
· General riding in bunches and training - The Magnus handles itself well with good manners, there is nothing out of the ordinary, you do notice the direct steering and very stable platform but otherwise it is normal in behaviour. On the downside I do unfortunately experience toe overlap but this is only of concern when undertaking really tight turns etc at walking pace and brushing the toe at traffic lights. It is not noticeable when riding.
· Racing or very hard efforts is where this bike shines and comes to life. The extremely stable platform allows you to relax into the pace of the effort without at all considering the handling. Sitting in a bunch is very relaxed at speed. Point, and the bike follows without drift or losing its line. Some bikes can tend to drift in the front end, or the front and rear of the bike might not quite align when pushed or descended upon in a hard manner, not the case with the Magnus. There is no fighting the bike to corner it, the handling is enhanced by the stiffness. It has the same tight feeling of the Time VXRS but with a far more solid platform which inspires greater confidence, well perhaps not confidence it’s just that you do not have to think about it at all. I was initially concerned that the short wheelbase would have an adverse effect and would require greater awareness of the bike’s handling (definitely something that I did not want for longer rides and races) but this is not the case. Although the bike responds directly it does not take any greater concentration or effort to ride.
Without doubt the stiffest and most responsive bike I have ridden. The front and rear are well balanced and in perfect alignment when pushed to the limits of what I can demand. I recall riding an aluminium Klein with a Time carbon seat stay setup and a Principia in the late 90’s, these where extremely stiff bikes but suffered from flighty steering/handling and skipped horribly in the rear end when pushed over rough surfaces, country roads, etc. The Magnus feels stiffer but does not suffer that same back end loss of contact and the handling is spot on.
By way of recent comparison, I would describe the response as follows: The Prince responds well but there is a lag and amount of effort that seems consumed by the frame –v – the Magnus which delivers immediate drive, no sway or absorption. It’s a little like a sports car against a heavy saloon car. Both get up to the same speed, it’s just that the sports car seems to do it quicker and with less effort. This may be purely perception but it does enhance a positive mindset.
The first few rides I was dazzled by the responsiveness, handling and looks. After a few days it became noticeable that the frame gives a lot of feedback, some may say this is not as comfortable as other bikes and that the ride is a little harsh. It is primarily a race bike, when racing you do not notice any negatives, but I would not recommend the bike to somebody that wanted comfort over other traits, or didn’t intend to race it. I found that although it does give a lot of feedback, I have taken it on approx. 7 X 140-170km rides now and did not notice any adverse affects or tiredness, in fact it had no effect in this regard at the end of the ride. I find the Magnus more comfortable the harder it is pushed. Again by way of comparison I would describe the Prince as a real gentlemen’s bike, extremely well suited to comfortable leisurely Sunday rides, it mutes most things and leaves you feeling fresh. On the other hand the Magnus is there to be pushed, you feel the road but surprisingly at the end of the ride your body shows no adverse affect from the ride nor does it tire of it. You just feel the road a little more as you travel along.